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Nigerian Red Cross: Death toll now more than 100 in north Nigeria radical Muslim sect attacks
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) ' An official with the Nigerian Red Cross says the death toll from a series of attacks carried out by a radical Muslim sect in northeast Nigeria has risen to more than 100.
Red Cross official Ibrahim Bulama told The Associated Press on Sunday that he expects the number to rise as local clinics and hospitals tabulate their numbers in Damauturu, the capital of Yobe state.
A radical Muslim sect known locally as Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday, which included suicide bombings and shootings in the cities of Damaturu and Maiduguri. Nearly all the deaths occurred in and around Damaturu.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) ' A radical Muslim sect in northeast Nigeria on Sunday gunned down another security agent following attacks earlier this week that left at least 69 people dead.
The latest attack by the sect known locally as Boko Haram targeted a police inspector in the city of Maiduguri, the sect's spiritual home. Sect gunmen stopped the officer's car at gunpoint as he neared a mosque to pray with his family, local police commissioner Simeon Midenda said.
Gunmen ordered the family away, then shot the inspector to death, Midenda said. The sect members later allowed his family to drive the car away, he said.
The killing prompted a frank acknowledgment from the police commander, whose men remain under siege from constant assassinations by the radical sect.
"Our men who live in the midst of the Boko Haram are not safe," Midenda said.
Meanwhile, statements issued late Saturday show the U.N. Security Council called the attacks Friday in the cities of Damaturu and Maiduguri "criminal and unjustifiable" and asked members to help Nigerian authorities bring those responsible to justice.
A statement on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for "an end to all violence in the area," while offering sympathy for the victims.
Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks Friday, which included suicide bombings and shootings. Nearly all the deaths occurred in and around Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state.
Boko Haram wants to implement strict Shariah law across Nigeria, an oil-rich nation of more than 160 million which has a predominantly Christian south and a Muslim north. Its name means "Western education is sacrilege" in the local Hausa language, but instead of schooling, it rejects Western ideals like Nigeria's U.S.-styled democracy that followers believe have destroyed the country with corrupt politicians.
Boko Haram's attacks occurred ahead of Sunday's Eid al-Adha celebration, or the feast of sacrifice, when Muslims around the world slaughter sheep and cattle in remembrance of Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son. Police elsewhere in the country had warned of violence ahead of the celebration in Nigeria.
An Associated Press count shows the group has killed at least 330 people this year alone.
Associated Press writer Njadvara Musa in Maiduguri, Nigeria contributed to this report.
Jon Gambrell can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP.